Compare Levaquin vs. penicillin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Levaquin (levofloxacin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Levaquin (levofloxacin) effectively treats different types of bacterial infections, but it is relatively more expensive than some of its alternatives.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 90 reviewsforLevaquin
Treats bacterial infections.

Penicillin VK (penicillin) is good at treating strep throat and is cheap, however, it can only be used for certain infections as many bacteria have developed resistance to it.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1297 reviewsforpenicillin
Upsides
  • Available as a generic medicine.
  • Liquid form of Levaquin (levofloxacin) is available for those with trouble swallowing.
  • Treats a variety of bacterial infections.
  • Take only once a day.
  • Can take pill form with or without food.
  • Compared to alternatives, Penicillin VK (penicillin) is the preferred choice for treating strep throat infections.
  • This medicine is available as a generic, which is cheap.
  • It’s also available in different forms: pill and liquid.
Downsides
  • People with diabetes need to check their blood sugar levels regularly while taking Levaquin (levofloxacin).
  • Can't take Levaquin (levofloxacin) at the same time as antacids or vitamins.
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin) can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get a rash.
  • Relatively more expensive compared to similar alternatives.
  • Associated with serious and some potentially life-threatening side effects.
  • Many bacteria are resistant to Penicillin VK (penicillin), so it only works for certain infection typically in ear, nose, and throat.
  • Penicillin VK (penicillin) has a bitter taste. Children might not like the taste.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
90 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
31%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?

Leave a review
1297 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
52%
saiditworked well
12%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Penicillin VK (penicillin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Levaquin (levofloxacin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Penicillin VK (penicillin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Tendon rupture and inflammation
    • People over age 60
    • Taking steroid medicine
    • Those with kidney, heart, or lung transplants
  • Myasthenia gravis
    • Those with a history of myasthenia gravis
  • Diarrhea
  • Nerve damage
  • Changes in mood and behavior
    • Those with a history of depression
  • Effects on heartbeat
    • Those with a history of heart rhythm problems
    • Taking other medicines that also affect your heart rhythm
    • Older people
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Diarrhea
    • Taking Penicillin VK (penicillin) for a long time
  • Interaction with birth control pills
  • Allergic reaction
    • History of severe allergic reaction to Penicillin VK (penicillin)
    • Cephalosporin medication allergy
See more detailed risks and warnings